tv 2012 National Book Awards CSPAN November 17, 2012 8:00pm-10:00pm EST
the highest rate of heroin addiction and death for overdrowse of heroin of anywhere in the country. and has for a long time. and the problem is not getting better, it's getting worse. >> 0 you can watch this and other programs onlive at booktv booktv.org. is in a non-fiction author or book you'd like to see featured? send us an e-mail@booktv at c-span.org. or tweet us at 2013.com/booktv. >> welcome to booktv live coverage of the 63rd annual national book awards. ..
robert caro has appeared on q&a and is also appeared through the national book festival in september. house of stone, you remembered that anthony shadid died in syria while covering syria for "the washington post." his wife will be here representing him and that is not a lottery. katherine boo has been nominated in the nonfiction category, behind a beautiful forevers about a slum in mumbai india and
finally anne applebaum has been nominated for iron curtain. that book is just out and she is scheduled to appear under q&a and show in december, so you will be able to see her as well and robert caro will be interviewing those others as we go and we will be watching the red carpet here as some of the authors have their pictures taken that right now we want to talk to the chairman of the national book foundation and this is david steinberger. david steinberger is the head of the perseus book group. if you would, tell us for those who don't know what is the national book award? >> the national book awards are given to the best marketing books in four categories every year so fiction, nonfiction, poetry and literature. it's the pantheon, the greatest american authors, saul bellow, john updike so it's a pretty good big deal to win this award. >> this began 63 years ago?
do you know the history when it began or why it began? >> m it was a group of people who are interested in making sure that great looks have the greatest possible impact on the culture and that is still our mission now. the first winner was the man with the golden arm which was later made into a film starring frank sinatra. >> mr. steinberger recently "the new york times" there was an article about the national book awards and some of the changes that you as chairman and your team are trying to implement. what are some of those changes? >> part of it was trying to make towards as exciting as possible. we have red carpet back here in an after party at you can believe it and a dj and actually a wait list for the after party which is a homely thing. it is really about trying to increase the impact of great books on the culture and we couldn't be more excited. >> can any book been nominated in those four categories? >> any book written by an
american. it can be nominated in those categories in the publisher has to nominate them. we have over 1000 books nominated this year. >> david steinberger you are saw the head of the perseus book group. explained that the perseus book group is. >> we are the leading independent publisher and united states when you include the books they publish in the books we distribute and in fact a couple of our distributed authors, authors published by small independent publishers and we distribute our finalist today including dave eggers. >> what are some of the imprints that come under perseus? >> basic books which is not for history and science and books that make you think and public affairs which is not for politics and current events. this would be two examples. >> david steinberger is chair of the national book foundation and head of the perseus group. we appreciate your time this evening at the national book awards.
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] we continue our live coverage from the 63rd annual national book awards here in new york city. this is one of the nominated books, "the boy kings of texas," mmr, domingo martinez is the other. mr. martinez joins us here on the red carpet. if you would, this is a story, this is your story. is that correct? >> is primarily my story but also the story of my family. i go back one generation more and discuss my grandmother's mythology and how she came over to america and how ultimately it
was her coming cross from mexico into america that spawned this fantastic first-generation american story or goes the mr. martinez you were raised in brownsville texas, right on the border. what was brownsville like during her childhood? >> that then, i experience it is being racially polarized, kind of in a more economic sort of striations and the brownsville imail was very agriculturally based. my parents ran a trucking business and we were basically farm laborers and so it was a very conflicted experience, because we would go to school and pretend like we were wealthier than we were, and it was entirely different, the people who we really were and we would go home and live this
untraditional lifestyle as farm laborers, my brother and myself primarily. my sisters had a very different experience but ultimately that was what we knew and what landers said about our environment. >> within the family, what were some of the dynamics? >> my father was, he was mexican-american. my mother was european-american and so that kind of created a very, sort of a complicated household. they had a lot of children right away in the late 60's, early 70's. i don't know if this was traditional to most, you know, hispanic or american families that my sisters were kind of the property of my mother and my brother and myself for the property of my dad. as boys, working with the father who wants a trucking company, we were sort of like the indentured laborers for him. my sisters were living this
almost idyllic lifestyle as princesses. and so, that is kind of the intentions i draw from early on in the book. >> how much your family still alive and what do they think of the book, the boy kings? >> every member of my family is still alive. my grandmother and while the story is tough and gritty, they have actually been supported. my mother and my father haven't really kind of come to terms with it. they find the stories too painful to relive. but they are still very supportive. they now see the book is a larger text. they see it more a sort of a historical document affecting a lot of people because it is. it has left quite an impression, for every person that feels uncomfortable with the context of the story, there are
thousands more who for the first time are feeling heard and seen and witnessed. >> is it being published in spanish as well? >> i believe so. my agent is working on those rights, or we have been and we were discussing that when the national book awards came up so it was kind of interrupted in the conversation. >> well comments published by a smaller press, lyons press, correct? what was your reaction when he found that you had been nominated? >> first of all they had to translate what it actually meant to me because it was so outside my experience. this is my very first book and every other person i'm up against is like has won a pulitzer or with "the wall street journal" or newsday etc. and up until six months ago i was managing a print shop in seattle. so it was kind of, kind of a shock to the system.
and you know the term dark horse gets used quite a bit regarding my chances here but it was an incredible shift towards the positive. it's nice to have these dramatic shifts for the better in your life. when something this big happens it's usually for the negative but this time it was very much for the positive. >> what is brownsville like today? >> it is, my experience with it when i went back, it was like someone took -- >> do you still have family there? >> my father still lives in my grandmother. i've made the trip down sort of just to get the blessings both literally and figuratively, and it was different because the house that we grew up in is no longer there. grandmas house is still intact.
it still as creepy as ever, and but there was like a sense of peace there any more. it's like she is very much living in her late stages of life and much more calm as a human being. the rest of the town though, it was much more -- it wasn't sort of returning to the scene of the crime or return of the prodigal son. it was kind of day, sort of slipping through and trying to witness the places that it really was anymore, and there was a detail there that i hadn't seen before. sort of a concentration of communities and houses. the the same mom-and-pop stores and restaurants, and the town, the town is almost mythical in a sense. it doesn't change and get it keeps evolving.
i developed a renewed fondness for it when i went back, i think because i change so much and i didn't feel as powerless as they did when i lived there. i went there with a sense of certainly not return of the concrete hero but more of -- i certainly have come to terms and understand what this place is like. >> here is the memoir, "the boy kings of texas," the author domingo martinez and he is a finalist for the national book awards, nonfiction author. thanks for joining us here on the red carpet. >> thank you for having me. >> what is 12? >> we publish no more than 12 books a year, generally when book a month. the ideas mostly bestsellers. >> what are some of the books you have published the sierra? >> in september we published mortality by christopher hitchens. we got great reviews, a lot of
covers for the media and we have been named on several lives including barnes & noble, amazon, publishers we lay, hudson booksellers and i hope more to come in the next couple of weeks. >> what else have you published this year? >> in october we published a book called the oneworld schoolhouse by the con academy which lays out his radical views of education in america, this marriage of traditional classrooms with digital technology and has been employing them in a way that flipped our traditional model of education. >> in by the way salmon khan appeared on our "after words" program so if he wants to watch that author on booktv.org just type in his name. a long history between 12 and christopher hitchens. >> we published christopher in 2007. is the second but we published and number one "new york times" bestseller. after that book we published his first memoir, "hitch 22" followed last september by a
collection called arguably. which also went to be a bestseller. under extreme circumstances, he was very ill at the time. we had hoped to publish a book, and longer book about his illness and ultimately we collected many of the pieces that he wrote for "vanity fair." greg carter wrote an introduction for the book and is widow carol blue wrote a beautiful afterwards piece. >> you will be at the miami book fair next week, november 17 and 18th along with carol blue and art name is, right? >> that's going to be an interesting panel, martin and christopher nail each other for a long time and carolyn martin are very close. my relationship with christopher really dates back to god is not great, as my career blossomed and his career as a writer blossoms so i have a -- memory as it concerns the greater
hitchens project. >> booktv will be covering that panel life and in fact we will be talking with carol blue, christopher hitchens widow after the panel ayres and we will be doing, taking tweets and facebook comments for carol blue and you can go to facebook.com/booktv and like booktv and you can join the conversation as well or you can tweet in a question for her at twitter.com/booktv. cary goldstein and the nominees this year for 12? >> noma 90s for 12 it's an incredible book though. i was very excited to see it rise to the top and i think it will be tough for the judges. christopher was very fond of saying that he in fact -- grew up together and he would say that the launch of his network coincided with his arrival and my being here as an ambassador would have meant a lot to him. >> of course christopher hitchens you can type that in to
the c-span archives are booktv archives and hundreds of pro--- programs will come in. we have done an in-depth with christopher programs. cary goldstein is the publisher of 12. >> thank you thank you so much. >> backed to the red carpet here at the national book awards, 63rd annual. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> joining us here at the national book awards is well-known reviewer and critic for "usa today." i'm going to get you over here. you are in a better light. i don't need to worry about that. how important are the national book awards?
>> well, in the book world, it's very important but not quite as important as the pulitzers. they are second to the pulitzers the most prestigious award, and obviously they are trying to make them more sort of cultural phenomenon along the lines of the book awards, the fiction awards of britain. >> have you read any of the finalists and do you comment on the finalists? >> well, i did -- i've always believed in this is a strange thing -- betting is legal in britain and bookies set odds on the book awards and we have nothing like that. i thought we should just to try to make books part of the popular culture. my two predictions and i'm guessing because the judges are fight people. each people have five judges.
anyway so i predict that kevin powers who is written a novel set in iraq, yellow bird will plan in the fiction category and holds dam boy -- stem by robert caro has been on c-span many times, the passage of power might win nonfiction but maybe katherine boo's book may be also a favorite. who knows? and the reporter who covers the book industry, how would you describe the health of publishing today? >> i think the book businesses is one of those businesses that always feels beleaguered and maybe it has a little more reason to feel beleaguered because of the digital revolution. i wouldn't say it is ailing. i wouldn't say it's the greatest so somewhere in between there. is the kind of thing i don't really worry about that much. i still think there a lot of
good books coming out and i think readers have a great deal to choose from. the big question is how many big publishers will there be and how much more consolidation will there be? is a huge world even beyond new york. there are thousands of publishers who seemed the fee finding niches in the print book in the digital age. >> i think i read this years was the first year that you books outsold hardbacks? >> in certain categories. there is no real asterisk there. e-books outsold hardcovers but if you combine paperbacks and hardcovers, brand outsold e. e-books impact are making in popular fiction, books that tend to be more disposable. >> 50 shades of gray, thriller? >> those types of books may be somewhere around one third or more of the copies sold and they are also cheaper. people don't want to keep those. serious non-fiction brought a
tear still have the home in the print world but this question is what is it mean for bookstores especially independent bookstores? >> what are you currently reading? >> i am always stumped by that because i'm reading several things. i am reading sort an unusual of an unusual book. i'm going to interview the national editor of "the new york times" who has written a primer on thanksgiving. i describe it as sort of elements of style but not about punctuation or how to cook a turkey. i am also reading -- i'm about to go to nashville. i've been brushing up on -- works. >> bob mintz and heimer of "usa today," thank you for joining us on booktv. >> thank you. >> someone whose face he may not recognize but it's an issue here her voice, you will know exactly who she is. this is kerry gross of npr.
what he doing at the national book awards? >> i'm presenting the literary and awards. "the new york times" is an extraordinary job at the sunday book review and the booker view by jenna maslin. >> is that the war on what you want a couple of years ago? >> yes i did. >> how many books do you do on fresh air? >> a lot. we usually do several a week and i've read so many books every year. for me than a our times is really valuable because it alerts me to so many books that i might not have paid attention to without their flagging it. there are so many books that we look at all the time on our show and sometimes it is helpful to have someone if you didn't notice at the first time around.
i love reading book reviews. i read so many books that i love to see what other people have to say about the books that i'm reading now work that i'm about to read or i just read. i like to compare my thoughts in the reviewer's thoughts. >> have you ever been turned down by an author? >> some authors don't do interviews but usually if others are willing to do interviews they are willing to come on our show i am proud to say. >> terry gross if you go back and interview an author who may be dead, is there one in your head that comes up? >> lets see, i would be very happy to interview -- if i had the chance. >> what are you currently reading for pleasure? >> i don't read for pleasure in the sense that i am always reading something for the show. so, but i haven't started my next book yet so right now i'm reading "the new york times."
>> when can we expect another book from you? >> maybe never. i will tell you writing a book, you don't need me to tell you this. writing a book is so difficult that i don't know if i will ever do it again. even though the book was a book of interviews edited for the page along with an introductory essay by me and i worked with a collaborator who is a dear friend of mine and still a was so hard. to do a book on "the daily show," i don't recommend it. >> terry gross of npr, we appreciate your time this evening. >> thank you so much thank you so much. >> you are a reader of "the washington post" using her column. this is anne applebaum in this is her most recent book "iron curtain" in 1944 to 1956. she is also the one of the pulitzer for -- anne applebaum you are a finalist this year. with your thoughts about that?
>> i was surprised. it's not the most popular kind of subject but i was very please. >> why do you say it's not the most popular subject? >> eastern europe after the war? is kind of a black hole actually in european history. very few people know very much about it. one of the points of writing the book was to put together what the people have done in other languages and to use archives and interviews to tell a story that hasn't been very well told. how did communism take over this region and how is it done? >> how quick the after the end of world war ii did the "iron curtain" and the communist takeover eastern europe? >> it actually happened quite fast. in the sense that when the red army came into the region, they were already prepared. they didn't know how long it was going to take and they didn't have a 10-point plan. that they began trying to control key institutions from the beginning, including the secret police but also the radio
and other parts of the society they considered important. that was done from 44 to 45, whenever they got there. >> where were the strongest areas of resistance? >> probably poland. in poland there was a resistancm eastern poland and they were in opposition. >> are their lasting effects of what happened when the soviets took over eastern europe? >> yes. first of all, there were years of communism. even to this day, there is a hangover in many countries of the region and people, habits were acquired during the occupation. >> now you have a special interest in poland. can you tell us why? >> first of all i can interest because i've been working there on and off for 20 years.
i was first there in 1988 and i was there during 1989 during communism and i met a pole who i was married to and he is now the polish foreign minister. it's unusual. he wasn't the foreign minister when i met him but he is now. >> is the year tonight? >> he is not here. he is working and it's a long way and i might lose. >> anne applebaum is the finalists for the national book him moored nonfiction. here is her book, "iron curtain" in 1944 to 1956. by the way anne applebaum will be taping a q&a program for c-span a little later this month and you will be able to watch that on sunday night. thank you for joining us. you are in the red carpet at the national book award. >> thank you very much. you can see the reporters are gathered right outside the red carpet with a photographers.
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> joining us outside of the red carpet, we were just watching faith salie get her picture taken and you were hosting this tonight. why did the ask you? >> oh god, don't know how to answer the second part. i think it was august. at the tied minute baby was two months old so it's all a haze. at first they said yes so at the
time i couldn't imagine leaving the house for more than two hours. why did they ask me? i am not a knock there. shocking, right? i do write my own material. i am a commentator at large. apparently somebody thinks what i have to say is occasionally worth listening to her laughing at which i hope happens tonight. i'm incredibly honored to be in the company of these people. it's a cool thing to be the dumbest person in the room. >> what are you going to talk about? what is going to be her angle tonight? >> my challenge is a no part of what i'm supposed to do is to be funny which i will try to do. i really started thinking about what books niem -- mean to me and started thinking you know everybody has a personal playlist, a playlist of book so i'm going to write down my personal playlist and hope they resonate with some people in the
room. >> what are one of the books you are going to mention? >> well it starts and ends with the giving tree because i sort of mark my life in terms of turning points that involve books and the first memory i have of my mom is her reading that to me. she always cried and i never understood why. i recently read it to my son and almost drowned in a puddle of tears. >> what projects do you have coming up? >> i'm flying to milwaukee tomorrow morning for npr. this sunday i am on pbs sunday morning which is a friend of the national award doing a piece on the geometry of pasta. i know, shape matters. >> faith salie, you'll be seeing her and seeing the event tonight at the national book awards. >> thank you so much.
>> ladies, gentlemen, authors, poets, publishers agents, librarians, scriveners, plot designers, book binders of women. [laughter] i am so happy to be here tonight. my name is faith salie and i have a profound soft spot in my heart for this world of books. my husband works in publishing and i married him anyway. now, if you are at a table with a nominee, please point to that person to make him or her field wildly uncomfortable. thank you, and let's applaud all of this year's nominees. [applause] with the election behind us and the fiscal cliff right in front of us, i think it's nice just to
have an evening when we can focus on what is important, like whether molly ringwald is really here tonight. is she? i trust you all read "the new york times" piece this past week on how tonight is a close visible makeover for the national book award. the article goes on to say, the goal is to add more appeal to an industry that is not exactly known for it. and quote, there will be guys everywhere the aspirations to turn this once dowdy event into a glamorous party. from where i stand, looking out at your, faces, you are post-dowdy. thank you. that is the drinking table. [laughter] it is fun to tell folks outside of new york that you were
involved with the nba because they start asking you questions like what our love on -- lebron and kobe really like. writer and professional -- are incredibly similar. they are both wildly overpaid people in peak physical condition. but the real similarity is this. those writers and basketball players really want their first draft to go well. so, oh my god, it's a slow burn type of audience. i know who you are now. okay. we have the drinkers in the slow burners. i have a confession. i have not been able to read all of the nominated looks this year because i have a 5-month-old baby. but, oh my god, plus for that? thank you. if i had known i wouldn't have waited 400 years to have a baby. five, if you have written a
fearlessly electrifying novel that involves lots of pictures of giraffes and i i'm all over it. if you have penned a searing exposé of the dark world of -- training i have dogeared your past. i have however read this is how you lose your mind which is a fictional account of. [laughter] i have dug into the poet of bewilderment, new parents and trying not try not to get pete on. i've been transported by the young people's novel, out of reach which is a provocative tale of baby proofing your home. when i was asked to host these awards immediately said yes and i was truly honored that then once i started thinking about what i wanted to say i realized i was in a lot of trouble because the truth is when it comes to literature, have always been very referenced, but i make
my living expressing myself irreverently and for the past five months i've been expressing myself quite literally. is that a grown? the moms in the house get it. this reference comes from being a perpetual awestruck student of books my whole life. i concentrated on victorian literature in college and went to grad school at oxford university, and there you don't study for your masters. you've read for it and read i did. my focus was modern english 1880s to 1960's because in those days of oxford didn't offer a course in literature beyond 1960 because presumably there would not have been time enough to manifest an appropriate boquet and mouth feel. i was on a plane recently and the flight attendant asked us
before takeoff to turn off our books. [laughter] and i knew what she meant of course, but on a lofty level it occurred to me, you never turn off books. if they are meaningful and resonant they leave the piece of themselves inside of you and they live with you. sorry to the mother of references but i think of something called microcamera sum which is what happens when the mother carries a child. the baby leaves its dna in its mother forever and so it is with the book you adore. most people could construct it kind of soundtrack of their life to capture the time and place but those of us who love literature, who have lived through books and with books can construct a literary playlist of our lives. the books that mark moments of being. one of my first memories is sitting in a rocking chair on my
mother's lap while she read me the giving tree. i never understood why she always cried at the end. the tree is a stump. can i have a glass of tang, you know? i remember reading when i was 13 and feeling mesmerized by the endless sentences and i was shocked or you could use so many commas before getting to a period and staying up to finish it long after my family was asleep. i was so terrified by the ending that i was afraid to move. i understood it then simply as a victorian ghost story and then a real turning point in my relationship with literature came in tenth grade. that is when i put heavy petting in my book. i was reading the scarlet letter and my father who is a former english high school -- would talk to me about what i was doing in school. he would use what i now recognize as the socratic message of the scarlet level --
scarlet letter. i realized the book could be mined and as a reader i could become a detective of meaning and it took a few more years before he learned that it could both made you a detective of yourself. i told this was going to get very referenced an earnest. bear with me. in the fall of my senior year of college i found myself a scholarship for the rhodes scholarship and i found myself at a cocktail party. the judges asked us if we run a desert island what would be the one book we would take with us? has caused a party to base in georgia, where i'm from so a few of my counterparts said they would take the bottle. i said -- i've recently read it and by then my relationship with literature had become positively steamy. i had come to read it as a
psychological tale of gender hysteria and a bunch of 90s that the same book that could mean entirely different things at different points in your life, like magic. lit crit is not a phase that you want to stumble over in this company. passport my playlist to virginia was and my awkward days of reading moonstone by a fire by the man who would become my husband to not too many days ago, i read the giving tree to my son and i almost drowned him in a flood of tears and -- [inaudible] [laughter] let's get on with the awards. i have spent enough time tonight surrounded by writers to mitigate my reference. writers are people. people with laptops and a probable vitamin d deficiency.
we are here tonight to celebrate them. and so we shall begin with the literary and award. to present the literary and award for outstanding service to the american literary community is terry gross. terry gross has been hosted npr's fresh air since 1975. the program is broadcast on 566 patients and reaches 4.4 million listeners weekly. in her career she has created over 6500 fresh air shows and in 2007, terry herself receive the literary and award from the national book foundation for her outstanding service, the american literary community. it gives me great personal pleasure to welcome terry gross. [applause] ♪
>> thank you. i am grateful we can all be here tonight. you know there are so many essentials we take for granted, electricity, running water, subways, "the new york times" book review. we may think of the book are you as having been there forever but it has been around only since 1896, practically forever but not quite. in advances of the book reviews fifth anniversary when it was published in the saturday paper, harpers published this note of congratulations. only as the saturday supplement of the times become a serious and worthy factor in journalism but all proprietors of other newspapers whose wisdom is greater than their vanity half and related the example. every daily journal in new york and nearly everyone in the country now has a well conducted literary department. unfortunately that last part is no longer true. as you know sunday book sections are becoming increasingly scarce. through changing times and changing fortunes, generations
of the sulzberger family maintained at times commitment to books. not just sundays through the week even as other papers have eliminated or curtailed their book coverage. as arthur sulzberger jr. accepts the lit arena where this evening, he should be happy as chairman and publisher of "the new york times" and that he is not the sunday book review editor sam tanenhaus or one of its critics, janet maslin and dwight garner because this is a tough room. be honest, among this gathering of authors, editors and publishers want many of you are thinking bless you, "new york times" for the great review you gave my last book, turning it into a bestseller and changing my life forever, some of you are thinking, dam you "new york times" were a of the view that totally missed my book and doomed it into oblivion. i'm still smarting from review from several years ago and it wasn't even my book. [laughter]
but the cruelest fate of all for writer who has been spent years in the book is for that book to be ignored and just think of all of the worthy books. that includes children literature that might never be reviewed anywhere were it not for "the new york times." it's a sunday and daily reviews that make at times essential to the literary community and feature stories on authors and others from the publishing world and the career standing obituaries when they pass. is the regular coverage of the book business in the comings and goings of the publishing houses and now it's the books web site that makes all of this coverage accessible anytime along with web only features in podcast. i hardly need to explain to you why arthur sulzberger jr. is deserving of an award for service of the literary community. saletti to speak for a moment personally about what "the new york times" book coverage means to me. because i interview so many authors, reviews are like a shopping catalog, not just for books on my want to read but for
authors i would like to feature as guests on fresh air. the times regularly alert me to books and authors i was unaware of or that i overlooked or that i initially evaluated too harshly. and when i introduce guest authors on fresh air, it's almost embarrassing how frequently i quote from times reviews of their books. is especially embarrassing to stop and think how often have quoted her. i found that she in common with the sunday reviewers crystallize why a book matters far better than i can. i'm terribly afraid that is my phone that is ringing because i forgot to turn it off. [laughter] above all else, and may i speak for everyone here tonight, reading the times books makes me feel one of the community of readers, community for whom books matter. so let me add my voice to all those here tonight sharing arthur sulzberger jr.'s this
award recipient for recognizing that books remain an essential part of all the news that is fit to print. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> well, thank you very much for those very kind words and i want to apologize on behalf of all of my colleagues for the problem a couple of years ago with whatever that hook was and
thank you faith, for reporting the times. we sometimes say in the business it doesn't matter what they say about a few as long as it's spoken in english. i am truly added to be here tonight and except this award on behalf of the entire "new york times" themes that i'm blessed to represent. as you can imagine all of the comments you seen the book review and in our daily book coverage is the result of the dedication of so many people over so many years. our editor, her deputy -- and sam tanenhaus the editor of the book review continued to showcase our book coverage as a pillar of the times. that same integrity that my great-grandfather intended when he instituted at some 115 years ago. unfortunately, sam could not be with us tonight, so to cheonan to dean and to my other
colleagues from "the new york times" who were sitting there at table 31, and also chip mcgrath, sam's predecessor who i see over there, i'm so pleased to be able to share tonight celebration with you and so too is mark thompson, our ceo of the last three days at the times has joined us tonight. [applause] the book business is indeed very similar to the news business. at at the end of the day, we both tell stories. your readers, like ours, have options on how to experience these stories, whether it's lit up on a screen or printed on the pages of a paperback, people are still reading. and that is why the times is committed to investing in and growing our coverage, book in
print and on line. we are adapting to the reading habits of now. last year we expanded our bestseller list to include e-books and his reading habits continue to evolve, we will be there to report and to assess and to comment on it all. as much as we are moving forward, the book review is rooted in long-standing traditions, but it is not an outdated one and we have all been reminded of that of late. in the wake of hurricane sandy, many of us face days without power and what our laptops in their ipads in our e-readers ran out of battery light, we turned to books. reading them by candlelight. [applause] no matter how clever, convenient or cutting-edge digital media becomes in the future, books
will remain and will always be a part of the conversation at "the new york times." we know there would not be a times book review without all of you, the editors and publishers and writers who devote their time to creating books, bringing them to readers. so i would like to thank all of you again for continuing to tell your story, so that we can tell hours. thank you. [applause] >> in now, to present the medal for distinguished contribution to american literature is barton amis. martyn amis is the author of 13 novels, including the rachel papers, money, london fields,
the pregnant widow and most recently, lionel as though. he is the author of experience, two collections of short stories in six books of nonfiction is including the second thing. he was the literary editor of the new statesman and served as the professor of creative writing at the center for new writing at the university of manchester until 2011. please help me welcome, martyn amis. [applause] >> good evening. elmore leonard is a literary genius who writes re-readable thrillers. he belongs not to to the
mainstream but to the genre's. before he wrote thrillers he wrote westerns. fiction on the whole heavily relies on plot and only has about a dozen plots to recall many. boy meets girl, good means bad and so on. leonard has only one plot. all of this thrillers are reworkings of the partners partner's tale. in which death roams the land, usually miami or detroit. [laughter] disguised as money. nevertheless mr. leonard possesses gifts to the ear and eye, timing and phrasing that even the most snobbish masters of the mainstream must earnestly cover. the question is, how did he allow these gifts in his efficient unpretentious and delightfully similar yawns about
semiliterate go-go dancers, cocktail waitresses, loan sharks bounty hunters, blackmailers and syndicate executioners? my answer may sound reductive but here it goes. the essence of elmore is to be found in his use of the present partisan. [laughter] what this means in effect is that he has discovered a way of slowing down and spending -- or let's say the american sentence. because mr. leonard is as american as jazz. instead of writing warren camp lived up in molalla pin mr. leonard writes -- he writes bobby and then and opens closed.
we are in a kind of. [inaudible] [laughter] we are in a kind of marijuana tends. [laughter] dreamy, wondering week for. son's sentences seem to open up and lead time for which mr. leonard beasley slides. he doesn't just show you what these people say and do. he shows you how they breathe. now, all of his characters are terrible and pitiable and sometimes downright endearing and always very funny but they are junk souls. set against the cd blunders and every novel there is a positive
value. the one i want to concentrate on is gibbons, recurring hero. [applause] rail and is perhaps the keenest character in the entire corpus, dead straight and all business, genuine enforcer unlike the gray areas skip traces, bad men and -- hu and mr. leonard work usually represent the law and order industry. it is a postmodern, anachronism from out of town and he is fascinating because he shows you what mr. leonard actually holds dear, the values he can summon in a different kind of prose, indifferent american rhythms. those of for instance richard ford or robert frost or even mark twain. this is a quote. please concentrate. thisthis israeli. he could cut official corners to call in and out. he could walk and a man's house
unless invited or else with a warrant and bust down the door. it was the way he was raised, to have good manners. back when they were living in a cold camp and the miners struck rail and been a picket line most of the year, his dad in the house dying with black lung and company gun thugs came looking for his uncle. they came across the street, five of them in a couple with pic handles and up the walk to where his mother stood on the porch. the gun thugs said they wanted to speak to her brother. she told them, you don't walk into a persons home unless you are invited. even you people must believe that. you have homes, don't you, wives and mothers keeping house? they shoved her aside and hit him with a big handle to put him down. her words haven't stop them. no, what they did was stick in his mind. for words and her quiet tone of voice that stopped him more than
20 years later from breaking into this man's house. i said that mr. leonard was a genre writer but this was a techno-ecology. genre can hold him any more than science fiction could hold kurt vonnegut or jt ballard or gillespie crowned elmore leonard tonight, let's remember the iron law propounded by vladimir nabokov. there's there is only one school of writing, that of talent. thank you very much. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ [applause] [applause] >> this is a nice at to to follow, i will tell you. martin and i have been, we have been making appearances together for the last, oh, several years here in los angeles. what i do is describe martin amis as a complete literary star at the top of his game and that i might mention that i have
appeared as a category on jeopardy several times. [laughter] earlier this year, when i began writing a book i am calling blue dreams, which incidentally is taken from the name of marijuana, although the marijuana referenced earlier had nothing to do with me. i thought it might turn out to be my last novel, number 46 to add to the stack. [applause] i was finally, i was finally getting tired. then the first chapter of the book sold to the atlantic is a short story and not long after, a letter arrived from the national book foundation. awarding me this years medal for my work, all of that and i thought, with this kind of boost
coming out of nowhere, how could i be working on my last book? so i've been i have been writing fiction for 60 years and i didn't make many bestseller lists until the mid-1980s. i didn't worry about it. my books on exact plot driven. they are about people with guns. [laughter] in dire situations. once i became known, i thought reviewers would go a bit overboard saying that the subtext of my work is the systematic exposure of artistic pretension, or that my writing was an indictment of civilization and its byproducts. but the review i think of as the most stimulating, if not a realistic appraisal of my work,
comes from new musical express in london, who calls me the poet laureate of wild asked souls with revolvers. [laughter] [applause] you hope in vain to see a quote like that on the back of your book. once i began selling my work, the first one to argosy in 1951, it took 10 years to come up with a natural style that i liked. i would get out of bed at 5:00 a.m. and write until seven, five days a week before getting ready for my job at an ad agency. i only only rule at 5:00 in the morning is i had to get right into the story before i could put the water on for coffee. ..
i topped that once i got 105 rejections on another story that alfred hitchcock bought then died on me. but the book did sell, and twice adapted from the screen. i can't believe anyone in the room saw the picture for or remember is it. if you did, i saw it here in new york, i came in a little bit late, it was about twenty minutes to the picture and i saw the woman in front of me said it was the worst picture i ever saw in my life. the three of us got up and left. [applause] i've never seen the whole movie. [laughter]
i wrote screen writing and rewrite for for them thinking they need more act story. they called to ask if i read "friends of eddie kohl" i told him i hadn't heard of it. he said, this is your kind of book. this is your kind of stuff, kid, rupp out and get it before you write another word. i got the book and read the opening sentence in the store. jackie browne at 26 with no expression on his face said that he could get some guns. i finished the book at home and one sitting and it was like 180 pages and felt like i -- he
moved the story almost entirely with dialogue. the conversation of cops and criminals. their voices establishing the style. i stopped trying to tell those what was going in the book and began to show. began to show in pot i want of view in the views of the characters. bad guys and good ones. often cannot resist a set piece with a crazy kind of scat logical poetry, the matter of george v. hying ins. that's pretty much how i learned to write in a style i lifted from hyingens but changed enough
until it became my own sound. i want to thank the national book foundation for my award, and recognize executive directer, and his people for keeping this event on track despite sandy trying to stop us. they deserve our thanks and praise. i have to tell you -- [applause] i have to tell you i'm energized by the honor. the only thing i wanted to do in my life is have a good time writing stories. this award tells me i'm doing it. thank you. [applause] [applause] [cheering and applause]
>> mr. leonard, i'm sitting at the table with walter moasly. he would like you to know he sat through the "big bounce" and enjoyed. it he may have been -- if you haven't read the ten tips of writing. do it tomorrow or now during dinner on the smartphone. number ten is my favorite from el nor leonard. ten tips for writing. try leave out the part that readers send to skip. that's why the man walked off the stage with a medal. it is time to enjoy your dinner. while you're doing it. i want to you consider to this. i'm not sure if you know the process. what happens it's true the four groups of judges met for lunch today at different restaurants in manhattan times are tough. i think it was panera, and they
choose the winner in the qat gory among themselves. this is hours ago. and so i kind of think that they had to speak in a secret language. you never know if the server is a blogger in disguise. i'm thinking maybe they use a kind of code to say to the colleagues whom they were voting for. it's like, excuse me, do you know what the soup of the diaz? [laughter] if you're still serving brunch, may i have the eagers benedict? how is the blueberry cobbler? it's getting bad. i lost you. i will return to the stage after dinner pun free, please enjoy your dinner. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> good evening. on half of the board directors at the national foundation, i would like to welcome you to the 63rd national awards. [applause] i would like to start by thanking a few people. [applause] who had truly transformed this dinner. we heard about "the new york times" the famous "new york times" article, that "new york times" article reported earlier this week, four years ago we were at the marriott, and today not only are we here but we have an authentic red carpet. it's over there. if you don't believe me. we have an after party with the dj and not only that, but we
have a waiting list for an after party. [cheering and applause] so who would have thought that we would have for the after party for the national book awards a waiting list? things have changed. not everything is changed. it's about increasing the -- that is our mission. that is why we are here tonight. [applause] now keeping with that, i'd like to acknowledge the extraordinary writers in the room. we have amazing writers. i can't mention them all. i can mention at least a few of them. i ask you to hold your applause until i'm done. let me run through a few of the people. national book award winners
maryann, james carol, edward ball, victor, lily tuck, gene valentine, as well as robert carol boast whom also are winners of the pulitzer prize. also winners of the pulitzer prize -- [inaudible] and finally dave eagers, reaccept -- and steven king, recipient of the national book foundation medal for distipping wished contribution to american letters. please join me in recognizing the great american writers. [applause] i want to thank the financial
people. i want to ask you to hold your applause until i read the list. premier sponsors barnes & noble, thanks, guys, random house, the ford foundation, leadership sponsors: lyndon miker a division, coralgraphic, penguin and response or so, amazon, google, harper colins, stephen king, leverage gear, thank you. [applause] [applause] i would like to acknowledge the winners of the fourth annual innovation in reading prize, if you're worried about the next generation of book lovers, listen to the list and again, hold your applause until i'm finished. we have with us 15-year-old lily from coral gables.
she started a givingly briers in a homeless shelter kids can take as many books as they wanted that they would own not borrow. in chicago, reading against the odds enhancing the critical thinking skills by introducing them to challenging books. at the river library in colorado, a group of teens calling themselves the interesting readers society for unique book centric television programs in portland michigan, lending books by bicycle and in memphis, tennessee, real men read brings african-american men together with three to five-year-olds to develop life-long readers. i would like to ask each of the winners to stand and be recognized for the dedication they bring to. [applause] [applause]
>> final, i would like to thank my fellow board members for the hard work. i have to acknowledge the foundation staff this yearunder the tireless leadership. now listen to this, two weeks ago the foundation office were flooded. they have not reopened. in the past three days, the staff have pulled off seven big events including this one with no trfn, no office, no mail, computers reside in harrold's dining room. for all of us, our heart felt thanks. [cheering and applause]
congratulations to all the finalists. good luck and on to the awards ceremony. thank you. [applause] just to few order of business before we begin award. one, the books on your table, you're allowed to take home. i'm sitting with harmed and he said you can. so if you wrote one of them and you're taking if home. that's weird. you can two rose petals, if that's your thing. what's going to happen is this is the order of the awards. we will learn the winners of young peoples' literature, then poetry, then non-fiction, then fiction, this does not mean that fiction is the most important, it just means that the fiction writers hold their liquor better than the poets.
[laughter] there you go. i love that corner. i want to share something quickly that i think can benefit everyone in the room. i heard a story on public radio the other day that there's a certain branch of publishing that is actually enjoying robust sales. apparently coffee table books are that the. i heard that on marketplace. who is applauding for coffee table books? [applause] table 33 is the coffee table book table. okay. because we are all in this for the must be, clearly, i'm thinking harrold next year this is a national coffee table book awards. that's a makeover; right? but why wait; right? with a few tweakings, we could coffee tablize some of this year's mom nominees in time of
christmas. it becomes a portrait of elvis. no elvis lovers? "yellow birds" a tactile book about how big bird emerged winning in 2012. that's good for kids. thank you. and then "heavenly body" is of course, a feast for the eyes offering artful nude photographs of the nominate writers. robert gets the center fold wielding the impressive pen. all right. [laughter] on that note, we'll going to young people's letture. -- literature. [applause] gary schmidt is presenting. [cheering and applause]
i could not find what the d. stands for. i found out one of the hobbies is cutting and splitting wood. in addition gary d. schmidt is author of the new berry "lizy bright" the new berry honor wedding "wednesday war" and "okay for now qghts. and finalist in 2011. it gives me pleasure to introdpiews gary d. schmidt. ♪ ♪ good evening. i've had the privilege to -- for the young peoples' literature. we read something over 325 books
for young readers ranging for pictures books for the par normal books for the young adult. lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of para normal books for young adults. it was a remarkable journey. along the way we found books that shook us, that filled us with joy and gladness, that summoned us to courage and to wonder. that use language in astounding ways, that surprise us what narrative could do or put in the words of saint august seen. we brought beauty to the world of the young readers. that brought knowledge and understanding to the world and wisdom in to that world. we found books and this saint august we found books that served the young readers in deep and moving ways. and thus, we found our five
finalists. these were the others who took that journey with that on that road. judith, susan cooper, daniel, [applause] to have been a part of the committee with you. i knew i would find wisdom in you all. i never expected to find friends. thank you for your labor and for your high and noble courtesy and kindness. for your belief that writing for young people is critically important for our culture. such strangely troubled dais working with you has brought me back to hope. thank you. [applause] the five finalists for the national book award for young people literature are: william
alexander "goblin secrets." [applause] published by margaret books. on imprint of simon and shoe here. holding a original "fantasy" about masking and finding. kerry, "out of reach." [applause] published by simon [inaudible] an imprint of simon and shuster. a story of length of love and loss. patricia mccormick, "never fall down." [applause] published by [inaudible] harper colins. a harrowing and bravely told story of survival and resilience
. elliot "endangered" [cheering and applause] published by scholastic books. a story of hope to love and em pa think that extends all boundaries. steve shinekin. [applause] the race to build and steal the world's most dangerous weapon. published by flash point, an imprint of roaring book press. a rivetting thriller of a book that tells the birth of a new age. to all these writers, thank you. thank you for your work. and thank you for what it will mean to young readers in our nation. this year's national award for young people literature goes to william alexander. ♪
there's -- and just another step sideways where we're standing "out of reach" it has to take it home for creating such substance out a wrenching absence. and this moment just a little step away from we're are. we're also being reminded of the devastating importance of narrative in "never fall down" and if we exclude that set of earth's already destroyed by the bomb, and instead consider the set that survives to the night, then a great many of those has the bomb taking us home. but we happen to be here. and i happen to write "fantasy." for the importance of that. i have to defer to user -- ursla as everyone should.
[applause] i believe has written a musical. she tells us the literature of the imagination is important because it gives us a world large enough to contain alternatives an therefore offers hope. even possible way we could be. we have know that. we have to remember that and stories are the very first way we learn that. it's a first way we figure that out. so thank you, karen. thank you, joe. thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, al alice. congratulations to my fellow finalist in every single possible version of our world and, thank you all for joining me in this one. [applause]
>> the dp. stands for david. he baby girl two weeks ago. he's a winner all around. [applause] -- in 2011, for which she received the national book critic circle award. she has been a fellow and won two foip from the national endowment for the arts and she's also published several novels. please help me welcome laura.
♪ >> what i did on my summer vacation. [laughter] this is a summer that a number of beliefs i'd helding to self-evident were debunked. the poets put in a metaphor call room together and told to agree on, well, anything, let alone deciding what the five most moving, beautifully crafted, humbling, deserving, and. mind-blowing books and a pile of hundreds of books could never in fact do so without bloodshed. i took on the task thinking that it would be mostly worthwhile and interesting. but then i would have four new enemy out there in the poetry world. it didn't happen that way. we agreed early on and easily that we were in search of enduring merit and that was all.
it was scary that first conference call. i feel sure i wasn't only one who thought, yeah, right. one reader enduring merit could easily be another one's offensive. and like wise. but my fellow panelists tracy kay smith -- [applause] boar reis manning, patrick, dana and i locked in the room all summer emerged not only in tact but breathlessly in sync. the poetry that brought us to the doorstop puck -- pushing the other work away. we didn't agree. we shared a passion and sense of urgency see that the work was brought forth and presented to the world. in other words it was easy and obvious despite all the internal and external wrestling that went in to it. i make it sound as if we didn't
need to talk about it. oh did we talk and list and worry. but we did it in sympathy, and with a shared vision and although i like to think my group of panelists was, of course, uniquely incredible, and we were destined to do it together, i believe in the end it was these five books we finally collapsed with and applauded and loved as a group that made it possible for us to emerge full of joy about the process. the finalists for the national book award in poetry this year are david ferry. "the wilderman" new poems and translation published by the university of chicago press. [applause] sintd cynthia huffington. published by southern illinois. [applause] tim "fast animal."
[applause] allen shapiro "night of the republican." [applause] and susan wheeler, "mean" published by the university of iowa press. [applause] i want to thank my fellow panelists and acknowledge them. my four new best friends in the poetry world for extraordinary minds, keenest of readers and thinking. the poet full of generosity and excitement who had incredible motive for poet. unbelievely pure. we truly bring you what we search for and found and have enduring merit. the first debunk belief is they are looking for hate other poet and disagree with them. the second is judging is political and personal. no judge can be impartial. all that baggage i assumed we would bring you the poet snubbed me at the conference. that poet didn't. the poetry world is a small
one. a sub culture of a sub culture. were we to read the work of our peers. to read thousand and thousand of line of poetry over the course of summer is as it turns out to drink -- to bath in the water of forgetfulness. in the lies for the poet we writes about the poplar poet of all time. anonymous. a poet without date, parent, gender. it appear in the 14th and 20th seizefully britain, australia, and africa. always with a song. all the poet became a none of the awhile. the poems transcended the poet with that came the wonderful debunking of my belief. i'm one person. ly live and die alone. ly only inhabit the one consciousness. i was wrong about that top. to read the poem was was to be spoken two.
to be in conversation with people at the level keeper than who we are, where we are, and what our words and thoughts and deeds don't mean. enduring merit until the summer did i believe in it? believe in enduring merit could never be agreed upon? all things poetic are subjective and relative and therefore cannot be said to have merit and endurance cannot be predicted? if so i no longer believe that or remember believing it. these five radio active books loathe for each of us, green and deathless among the others. if they are not being read in 100 years. i'm glad i won't be able to see it. it will mean that only the cook roaches have survived. whatever happened to civilization. and the last debunked belief of my summer vacation. there's more mystery in a closed box than an open one. nope. when it comes to a book of box full of prototry, that is not true. over the summer, those boxes
turned in to a room full of books full of poetry full of mist we. there's more sacred than turns in the living the center and indulging in the intellectual pleasure. if there's anything better on the planet, than the impulse to poet. i have no idea what it could be. and i feel so grateful to have been born and lived on the earth long enough to have seen it really above all there is poet. it's speaking for all of us when it utters. unable to know is a condition i lived in. all my life a poverty of imagination. about the life of a another human being. which you may know are lines from the book our panel concluded with the most astonishing book of poems this year which was a very good year for poetry. david ferry. [applause]
thank you so much. when i i heard that -- [inaudible] called me said i was a finalist, i went out to -- i got my daughter to go out to lunch for me at murphy's pub, and we talked about this, and i said, the only thing -- my only advantage i was so much older than anybody. and so maybe they the judges would decide to give me a preposterous -- [inaudible]
and crazy but thank you. [applause] [applause] >> the national book award for non-fiction will be presented by woody hole ton. woody is the professor of american history at the university of south carolina. his 2009 book alabama abigail adam wop the prize. he's the author of "unruly american ." a timist for the george
washington book prize. his first book -- i'm honored to introduce woody holton. ♪ first, i want to celebrate the wisdom and the con geniality of the fellow judges who gave up a half year of their own writing to help find the five amazing books that we present to you tonight. they are brad goch. linda gordon, susan orlean and judith.
[applause] the other judges and i also want to give special thanks to sherry young who was our tireless and perfectionist liaison an the national book foundation. thank you, sharon. [applause] the finalist for the 2012 national book award for non-fiction are ann apple the crushing europe. published by double day. [applause] and katherine, "behind the beautiful forevers." life, death, and hope in a mumbai undercity published by random house.
and robert a cairo. "passage of power." and the late anthony. "house of stone" a memoir of home, family, and middle east published by mid land park. the weapon -- winner of the 2012 national book award for non-fiction describes a world that couldn't be any more difficult from the world that we're enjoying here tonight. yesterday it's a world that our world depends entirely upon. the subject of this book have been patronized and are
manhattan sized, and eagerly egg neared in previous work. in this book, they appear in all of their complexity. the villain and sometimes villains along with the types heroes. the -- behind the bock reminds us all that good listening is an ethical act. stylistically, this book pretty much invents a new genre of non-fiction writing because the author rivals the great novelists in developing characters and plotting various narratives that intersect, and setting up surprises and creating tension. the winner of the 2012 non-fiction national book award
is katherine. "behind the beautiful forever, life, death, and hope in mum boy "" [applause] ♪ ♪ >> i find myself like, like, mitt romney the other night without a speech. [laughter] so i just -- i want to say, first, this that it's such an honor to have been able to be in the same room last night with the finalist who -- don't need me to tell them what great companies they are. the book was done as a labor of
love for my husband who brought me in as a pouf ty writer. brought me in to a world i didn't know and made me believe that the story there could be told. but the work itself was the product of some extraordinary women. who believed in me in the book and gave me the time to do it. that's becky and candidate kate and agree that. and the fee roshes women at random house. i'm grateful to them. [applause] i have to say the book would not be possible without two other extraordinary women which are [inaudible] my translators on the project and risked more than i did to tell the stories and finally, i'm grateful to the courage of the people who allowed their stories to be told. and if this prize means anything, i think it's this. it's that small stories in
so-called hidden places matter. and one of the reasons that they matter, i think, is because they implicate and complicate what we generally consider to be the larger story in the country. which is, you know, throughout the world which is the story of people who do have political and economic power. and i just would like to remember anthony who was one of those great believers in small stories. and -- we miss him badly. and thank you. [applause]
>> to present the 2012 national book award for fiction. larry moore. the author of three story collection and three novels. the most recent being gait at the stair. a final -- her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the new yorker, the new york review of books, "the new york times," the paris review, the yale review, and elsewhere. she's been the recipient of the irish times prize for international fiction, the ray ya award for the short story. the oh henry award. and lane mom fellowship. it she's a member of the american academy of arts and letters, and gives me great pleasure to introduce laurie moore. ♪ >> the other member of this
year's jury for the national book awards in fiction are daisy, -- and janet peer rei. [applause] [applause] why would the scene, reasonable, and brilliant people consent to the chore? one where you make a thousand enemies and maybe only one friend? one where your front porch fills up with packages, and your neighbors think you have a terrible lay night online shopping habit. [laughter] through the entire spring and summer. one does it for the champagne even it turns out to be a lot of peach stuff in it. [laughter] but one does it also to be part of a celebration of the deep
louise "round house." [cheering and applause] published by hartford and harper colins. ben, billy -- [cheering and applause] published by echo cliff, and imprint of harper colins. kevin powers, the "yellow bird." [applause] the 2012 national book award for fiction goes to the "round house " -- [applause] ♪ hey, baby, where are you? [laughter]
[applause] i want to thank harper colins. it's not even a huge company anymore. [laughter] by it's always been about four or five people to me. people who believe so strongly in my work they have supported me and my family and literature. i want to thank my -- jane bern, trent. i want to thank andrew wily, and
jane. [applause] i want to say to my fellow writers, you have written extraordinary books, i don't really know why i'm standing here, but i've been working at this about this 100 years. now as long as elmer lendered. a long time. [applause] [laughter] and thank you to my husband, dan, mom and dad, and all of you. i would like to in the end in the spirit of the chip with a people and in recognition of the grace, and endurance of native women. this is a book about a huge case
of injustice, ongoing on reservation and thank you for giving it a wider audience. it means so much to all of us. thank you. [applause] >> this concludes the national book awards ceremony. please help me congratulate all the finalist winners and judges. [applause] everyone is invited to join me the after party on the balcony. i would like to thank the national book foundation and especially harrold for inviting me to be part of the even. one book i have read an awful lot of lately is "go ahead night moon." ilgd like to end the ceremony with this.
good night readers and good night eaters. good night thinkers, and good night drinkers. good night humor and are author junior. good night publishers whose jobs are in plucks. good night stephen king who is wearing a tux. good night unknown and good night famous, good night el moor leonard and good night 1995 nobel prize winner. the best i could do with that one. good night stars, good night air, good night writers everywhere. thank you. [applause] tell us what you think about the programs this weekend. you can the tweet uses at booktv. comment on the facebook wall or sent us an e-mail.
booktv. non-fiction books every weekend on c-span2. >> i'm going discuss the role in the union 1960 and 1861. when we talk about why abraham lincoln rejected any meaningful comprise. following the election as president november of 1860, the country was gripped by a sectional crisis. many southerners feeling it the republican party the republican party was a northern party and proudly so. did not have a significant southern connection. lincoln was elected without a single electorate vote from any of the slave state and only four from the border states, missouri, kentucky, maryland and delaware did he get any popular
who preach the gospel of the union, they took to the public platform and to the newspaper columns to proclaim the crisis of the south was at hand. the south had to act immediately to protect itself from the hateful of evil republicans, cries of confession, [inaudible] and this was not the first time sectional crisis gripped the country; however. there are several short sectional ties piewt prior to 1860. seek of these -- each of the major ones had been settled by a comprise. here i would point specifically to the four critical ones. first, the constitutional convention of 1878 in philadelphia. the missouri crisis of 1820, which had to do with the emission of missouri a slave state and fugitive slavery to the louisiana purchase, as you
know, it was more than the state of louisiana, it covered almost all of the territory through mississippi through the rockies mountain and texas. it was settled on the missouri comprise. then 1832 and '33 the nullification controversy between the south carolina and federal government was also settled by comprise. and finally the late 1840, the beacts over the future of slavery in the territory one from mexico known as the mexican session following the mexican war was settled by the comprise 1850. if you look at the four examples, tradition, tradition in place for another settlement to take place in 1860, '61. the chief issue between the republicans and the south involved slavery. but not slavery in the fifteen states where it existed. almost all of americans in 1860
republicans included believed that the constitution protected slavery in the states where it existed. on the critical question, was slavery in the national territories. and the territories owned by the nation that had not yet become states. geographically the territories would be comprised of what we think of today as the great plains, and rocky mountains and west of the rocky mountains to california. didn't include california. because california, as you know, was already a state. question was so critical because it had to do with the future of slavery, and the future of southern power in the nation.
own by the entire nation inspect 1857, the dread scott decision. the united states supreme court affirmed the southern constitutional view. republicans in contrast csh no matter the supreme court republicans would allow slaves in any territory. lincoln was elected in november of 1860, a month later the united states congress came in to session, members of congress put forth various comprises, a critical portion of all in some deal with the division of the territory. most often there was a proposal to extend some kind of dividing line west ward beyond the louisiana purchase all the way to the border of california.
i'm going get to my main topic. why lincoln rejected all meaningful comprise, which meant the territories. i'm going talk about three different men tonight. one of you, one of them, all of you know his name. abraham lincoln was who was he was and what he did. the other two not so well number. probably a number of you are familiar with henry clay. the great kentucky statesman. a probably few know hen -- in 1860 was at senior senator from new york state and prior to lincoln's nomination for the presidency was by far the most notable and well-known republican in the country.